America is at a crossroads. Amid a sharp divide between left and right, there appears to be shrinking odds that a compromise on middle ground is possible.

Imagine complimenting an achievement of the federal government’s Executive Branch in a public manner and as a result, your invitation to the extended family’s Thanksgiving dinner is rescinded. Conversely, sometimes you may feel as if you’re navigating a minefield for coming to the aid of a migrant worker who lacks a green card.

It brings to mind the famous quote from the German philosopher Immanuel Kant: “There are many things that I believe that I shall never say. But I shall never say the things that I do not believe.”

“Is the firestorm worth it?” you may ask yourself at times. There may be the short-term dopamine hit from laying down that snarky response to someone’s tweet. It’s also possible that you start that electronic correspondence just to eventually delete your post before hitting send because the potential blowback is not worth the two cents spent by giving your opinion.

This is the definition of taking the middle ground in today’s society. By reaching out to grab the hand of one side in agreement, the other hand is snared by the so-called opposition and stuffed in a meat grinder as a means of punishment.

It is time to be better than we are in political battles. As a whole one suggestion is to start by recognizing that we all play our role.

In football, everybody cannot be the quarterback. If the whole team were the quarterback, to whom would the ball be thrown? If the whole team were linemen, who would take the ball? Each member of the team has unique talents and abilities. Some will gain more glory and during the course of the game. While others accept their position in the overall scheme of the team. When the game is over, each member of the squad is joyful when victory is achieved.

Though by using a sports metaphor, the risk of being misunderstood is high as people start to wonder: Who is my teammate? Who is my opponent? There is a strong possibility that if America chooses to fight among ourselves, we will ALL lose. If we take the time to understand each other and build upon the hard work of generations that came before us, maybe we can keep sending the game toward the next overtime. Consider that a win or at least an achievable goal.

 

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